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Students to ‘rebel’ against DTEF directive

Students from various tertiary institutions have vowed to fight tooth and nail against a directive issued by the Director of the Department of Tertiary Education Financing (DTEF) Dr Marcos Maeza concerning their contracts especially as regards their living allowance over which they were not formally consulted.

The developing impasse between the two parties comes at a time when the DTEF is now handing over its tertiary schools’ responsibilities to Human Resources Development Council (HRDC) and this comes with certain developments, which the students are against.

 It is reported that one of these changes is that Wes Bank, which has been taking care of their ATM cards, will no longer be in charge as Botswana Post will now issue them and the new card will be called Botshelo Jwame. While it is still unclear whether the card will be used like the current one, this publication understands that students are likely to be making their transactions at Botswana Savings Bank (BSB).

The other development, which has rubbed the students the wrong way, is that since they are said to be signing a new contract with the HRDC they will be able to have access to their living allowance at least for six months. Students argue that this is an ill-informed move especially that some learners are in the habit of dodging classes after allowance has been credited to their accounts, so the idea will backfire.

It is reported that DTEF held a meeting with the Student Representative Councils’  (SRC) presidents on October 10, and  Maeza said the loan would be payable within six months after graduation. But the students are arguing that in this era where graduates roam the streets jobless, where will they get the money to repay the loans if they will still be unemployed?

It is said the authorities’ response was: “The parents assets will be attached to act as security so that the council will be reimbursed the money.’’ But what happens to scholars who come from poor families that do not possess such assets?

However, while the SRC’s cried that they were not consulted, it has emerged that in late 2012 and early 2013 the DTEF met with the then SRC Presidents who gave the idea the thumbs-up, but the incumbent is keeping fingers crossed that they will do everything at their disposal to make sure that the development does not see the light of the day.

The SRCs are said to be caucusing to find the best way out of the crisis and as a result they would not grant the Weekendpost interview on the issue. But some presidents who preferred to remain anonymous said, ‘’We strongly feel the DTEF oppresses us and this idea is not the best they could do, but they want to send the graduates to prisons as they won’t have the money to repay the money.’’

Students are also fuming saying they are undermined yet they are stakeholders as far as money repayment is concerned.

Efforts to engage the DTEF on the matter were fruitless as the telephone rang unanswered at the time of going to press.

Students in various institutions are said to have secured an appointment with the HRDC to get first hand information.  

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Gov’t shy to shame failing ministers

22nd February 2021

Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.

Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.

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Bokamoso, Gov’t in P10M womb removal suit

22nd February 2021

Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.

The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.

According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.

Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead.
According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.

“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.

The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.

What are fibroids?

Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.

The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.

Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.

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Masisi warned against a sinking Botswana

22nd February 2021
Ndaba GAolatlhe

The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.

Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty.  “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.

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